How Local Government Can Engage Our Community

By Councilman Marc Lazarow - Garwood
Garwood Town Council (D)
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Garwood is known as a “small town with a big heart”. However, true leadership from our Borough Council must pave the path for showing that heart. Residents want to get involved when they know there is someone leading the charge who will be there to support and guide them.

Over the past few years, Mayor Sara Todisco, Councilwoman Jen Blumenstock and Councilman Vincent Kearney, have helped shepherd innovative programs such as live streaming town meetings and creating town events to bolster ways for residents to get involved. The Green Team’s rain garden, the MLK Day of service, touch a truck, the mayor’s wellness campaign, and more town hall meetings have really helped to invigorate all of Garwood to get involved and help make a difference!

These kinds of programs and events have inspired our town departments as well. The chief of police has implemented a successful youth academy, and the Garwood Volunteer Fire Department continues to brighten our children’s mood with visits from Santa and summer wet downs.

Clarissa and Jeff have shown they know how to engage members of the community already. Jeff has been doing it as a leader on the Green Team, and Clarissa inspires with her instruction as a music teacher and vision to create an arts council.

Not only that, but they both know how to pivot and prioritize issues that may require more urgent attention. As a teacher, Clarissa understands coming away from a very challenging school year requires retooling her practice to fully engage her students. Likewise, Jeff in his role as city clerk in Rahway engages with members of the public to focus his attention on directing residents to the resources needed to help in recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Ida. Their ability to react quickly and with a healthy dose of empathy shows that both Clarissa and Jeff are ready to tackle all of the challenges that may be thrown their way.

Garwood needs energetic and thoughtful leaders like Clarissa and Jeff who embolden our residents to realize that being involved not only brings self-fulfillment, but also helps bring a sense of optimism that Garwood truly is filled with big hearts.

I truly hope you will join me in supporting Clarissa Nolde and Jeff Jotz for Garwood Council by voting Column A on November 2nd.

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